Greg Cipes is a voice actor that is known best for his role of Beast Boy in the “Teen Titans” franchise. He is currently voicing Michaelangelo in Nick’s reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Media Mikes has a chance to chat with Greg about his role on the show and also his other voice work.
Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with voicing Michaelangelo in the new reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”?
Greg Cipes: I have a friend who is an executive producer on the new series. He and Nickelodeon brought me in as they thought I was perfect for the character. I brought what I thought Mikey was to the table. For me it was pretty natural and easy. The original cartoon was my favorite growing up. I learned how to meditate and got in to surfing and skateboarding because of that show. The turtles really helped shape who I am today. It was a role I could easily step into and they felt I was the guy.
MG: How was it working with Rob Paulsen who worked on the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series?
GC: Rob is such a pleasure to work with. I grew up listening to him on the show and to be able to work with him now is very surreal.
MG: What is it like playing such an iconic character?
GC: It is the greatest gift I have ever received. It’s a great responsibility being a turtle and there is nothing else I would rather be doing.
MG: Can you tell us about the recording sessions?
GC: 99 percent of the time we record the shows together as a group. We all feed off each other and we are like a big family. Basically, we are getting paid to have fun.
MG: What do you enjoy most about playing Iron Fist in “Ultimate Spider-Man!”?
GC: That was another role where they came to me and said I was perfect for that role. Disney thought I was very much like him and asked what I had. I brought this very gem like aspect to the character which is similar to how I am in my real life. I would say Iron Fist is a part of my personality as is Mikey. That’s usually why I book roles. The studios will see aspects of their characters in me and then ask me to come in. You would think in the voice over world it would matter what you look like or what your personality is like but, I have been cast in all of my cartoons more by how I look and by my personality. My visual and internal characteristics seem to be a big thing which is very cool. These characters are really who I am.
MG: Having voiced so many great characters, how do you differentiate your voices for each show?
GC: Each character has its own world. I will react differently in each of those worlds. It’s almost like I am an avatar. I get to go into those worlds and live it through the character. Those characters are me in different bodies and under different circumstances. Naturally I would be acting differently in different situations. Each world and character has so much richness to draw from to make it real that things come natural. My voice just changes on its own.
MG: With “Teen Titans Go!” coming in 2013, tell us about about reprising Beast Boy?
GC: That is really exciting. I love what Warner Brothers is doing with the show. The show is just so, so funny and it is going to be a great surprise for everyone. Sam Register from Warner Brothers is the one really behind making the show what it is and for bringing it back. I have been asking him for the past 7 years to bring the show back. He would just keep telling me one day we will. Finally I got the call to come in to work on the new show. Sam is the guy behind everything. That character Beast Boy kicked off my career as a voice actor.
MG: You work again with Sean Astin in “And They’re Off”, tell us about that?
GC: Before I started working with Sean Astin on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” I got to meet him and work with him on this project. The film is a comedic film that was really fun to work on. The cast was just so great. The film wasn’t a major release or anything but a year later I am working with Sean again. He is a really great guy that I get to work with every week.